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World Environment Day is observed on June 5. The celebration encourages worldwide awareness of environmental issues and inspires people to be better stewards of the earth.

Human activity has contributed markedly to the degradation of the environment. The use of harmful chemicals and the overuse of resources have all depleted Mother Earth. Some wonder if we will be able to sustain our finite resources for future generations.

Natural disasters can have a compromising effect on the earth as well. Hurricanes, for example, can deal a harsh blow to the environment. The hurricane seasons of recent years have been particularly devastating. They have accounted for about two-thirds of property losses and damages nationwide.

Recovering from a hurricane is a costly and long-lasting process. Here are some steps that must be taken to mitigate the environmental impacts of a hurricane:

  • Chemical clean up – Chemicals spread to the environment as a result of damaged plants and chemical storage areas. Toxic chemicals may emanate from contaminants in flooded areas. These harmful chemicals may infiltrate the soil and watersheds. The government and private organizations must work hand in hand to initiate a prompt cleanup and combat chemicals in the environment.
  • Garbage clean up – Floods cause massive waste pile-ups. Once floodwaters recede, the ground will be littered with garbage that was drawn into the waters. People will need to deal with garbage cleanup even as they begin to repair their damaged property.

Everyone must help clean up the environment in the wake of a hurricane. After all, we only have one Earth, and we need to make it last.